RESUME MAKEOVER TECHNIQUES SIMPLE STEPS TO TRANSFORM YOUR RESUME INTO AN INTERVIEW MAGNET
About Abby Locke
Abby M. Locke is a nationally certified résumé writer who has been quoted and featured as an executive career services expert in the Washington Post , Washington Post Express , Wall Street Journal , CEO Update , Monster.com , and the Society for Human Resource Management .
Currently the founder and executive career consultant of Premier Writing Solutions, LLC in Washington DC, Abby works exclusively with senior level and C-level executive candidates and supports them with their career transition, career management, and career development needs.
Samples of her distinctive résumé work have been published in Top Notch Executive Résumés , Nail the Résumé! Great Tips for Creating Dynamite Résumés , Same-Day Résumé, Quick Resume and Cover Letter Book , 30-Minute Resume Makeover , Happy About My Resume and Directory of Professional Resume Writers .
Abby holds several industry designations as Nationally Certified Resume Writer , Master Resume Writer, Certified Personal Brand Strategist , and Career Management Coach .
Contact her at [email_address]
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A well-written resume will get you job offers.
Your resume should not be longer than one page.
Your resume should include and describe your entire work history.
Resumes should only be written in chronological order.
General resumes will attract more employers and increase your chances of getting a job.
MYTH: A well-written resume will get you a job.
TRUTH: Resumes have three primary functions:
Grab the attention of potential employers
Secure an interview
Serve as guideline for questions asked during interview
Overall a well-written, targeted resume opens the doors to interviews and a great interview will lead to job offers.
MYTH: Your resume should not be longer than one page.
TRUTH: The general rule of thumb is one page for every eight to ten years’ experience. If you have 15 to 20 years’ experience, you resume should be at least two pages.
EXCEPTION: There are effective one-page documents like the Networking Resume or Critical Leadership Initiatives that are used to supplement, but not replace the standard resume.
MYTH: Your resume should include and describe your entire work history.
TRUTH: Developing a winning resume is all about strategy – your resume should only include experience and training that are relevant to your job target(s).
Note: It is quite acceptable to omit older experience or minimize its place on your resume. Positions that date back to the 1970’s or 1960’s are prime ammunition for age discrimination that unfortunately still exists.
MYTH: Resumes should only be written in chronological order
TRUTH: There are proven, effective methods of creating resumes that are not in the standard chronological format.
Most resumes today are written in a combination format to maximize the benefits of the jobseeker’s functional skills and actual direct experience.
MYTH: Resumes should be general to increase your chances of getting a job.
TRUTH: The successful resumes are the ones that are highly targeted and customized. Do extensive research on the positions you are seeking to understand the required experience, skills, qualifications, and core competencies.
Use that information as a guideline for developing your resume and other career marketing documents.
Resume Makeover Techniques
Plain Vanilla Career/Job Objectives Are Obsolete
Develop A Title Header
Have A Crystal Clear Target
Avoid Career Obituaries
Differentiate With Personal Branding
Minimize Tasks – Emphasize Achievements
Stick to the 5-5-2 Formula
Importance of Industry Keywords
Resume Makeover Tip #1
PLAIN VANILLA CAREER/JOB OBJECTIVES ARE OBSOLETE
Objective statements are no longer an absolute requirement for resumes. However if you do want to include one, make sure it is specific and not vague. For example:
Do not say :
“ To obtain an accounting position that would utilize my strong interpersonal, analytical and communication skills.”
Instead use a stronger objective like :
“ Position as Staff Accountant where expertise in accurate financial reporting, consistent cost reduction and federal audit preparation would be of value.”
Resume Makeover Tip #2
DEVELOP A TITLE HEADER
A title header on the other hand is like a handshake
Use a title that best encapsulates your career and/or represents who you are. For example:
Business Management / Project Management / Quality Assurance
“ Position as Staff Accountant where expertise in accurate
financial reporting, consistent cost reduction and federal audit
preparation would be of value.”
Resume Makeover Tip #4
AVOID CAREER OBITUARIES
Even if you are an executive job seeker with 20+ years of experience, you can still create an effective resume that highlights your key qualifications without choking the reader with pages and pages of content.
Focus on the past 15 years and address your early career in one of the following ways:
Choice A: EARLY COMPANY EXPERIENCE: Delivered significant contributions to company’s revenue growth and production output through Manager of Engineering & Maintenance and Project Engineer positions.
Choice B: EARLY CAREER: Held series of executive management and leadership roles including VP, Finance/Controller for several national restaurant chains.
Resume Makeover Tip #5
DIFFERENTIATE WITH PERSONAL BRANDING
A strong personal brand and brand statement can capture your strengths, value, talents, and performance drivers.
Make sure that you communicate who you are, your areas of expertise or industry experience and your value proposition. For example:
SENIOR MARKETING EXECUTIVE
Telecommunications & Technology Services
Driving operational initiatives that propel revenue growth, expand market share, and increase competitive advantage for startup, international companies
Resume Makeover Technique #6
MINIMIZE TASKS – EMPHASIZE ACCOMPLISHMENTS
Your tasks tells the employer what you are required to do. Your accomplishments tell the employer how well you did your job or how you made an impact.
Employers are always looking for candidates who can make significant contributions.
Include concrete examples of your career accomplishments on your resume. For example:
Candidate A: Saved the company thousands of dollars during first year on the job.
Candidate B: Achieved zero lost time and 100% staff productivity during12 consecutive months for first time in company’s operating history—saving company $500,000.
Resume Makeover Technique #7
STICK TO THE 5-5-2 FORMULA
Bring your job description to life with vibrant action verbs, industry keywords, and quantifiable facts.
Avoid the overused, passive phrases like “ Responsible for the development of marketing plans for clients in the West Coast region ."
Limit paragraph description to five lines
Include at least five achievements for each relevant position listed on your resume
Keep the resume length to two full pages
Resume Makeover Technique #8
IMPORTANCE OF INDUSTRY KEYWORDS
Technology has changed the job search process
Resumes are scanned and stored in databases
A resume rich with keywords show readers you are the right fit and survive resume scanning software programs. Some common keywords/industry jargon related to the positions in operations are: